F.A.Q. - Hope Medical Institute


What is Hope Medical Institute (HMI)?
Hope Medical Institute is an international institute established to create better opportunities for students to study medicine at reputable and well known medical colleges and universities throughout the world. Since its birth, Hope Medical Institute has been and will remain a beacon of hope for many students and parents whose life-long dream is to get a thorough, well-balanced education in the field of medicine. HMI has developed working relationships with well-established institutions for medical education on an international level. Our affiliated universities take students and train them in the most proper manner, ensuring that they become well prepared physicians
What Universities are associated with Hope Medical Institute?
Hope Medical Institute has established a cooperative working partnership with many of the world’s finest and best-known medical universities/colleges. These universities/colleges are located in Central/Eastern Europe. Traditions and history for these institutions goes back for centuries, and they have trained thousands of physicians over the course of time. We are particularly proud to mention that the institutions affiliated with HMI are among the oldest and respected medical universities in Europe. Our affiliate universities are dedicated to excellence in higher education, and their faculties are totally committed to providing the best education for the well being of their students. Their degrees and diplomas are recognized and highly respected throughout the world.
What should I look for in a university when considering studying medicine abroad?
The best general rule to follow in seeking a good university for medical education is based on the old saying, “The old is gold.” In many situations in our daily life we select the best by age, quality and experience.

In our daily lives we select products and services by age, experience and a long history of excellence. Shouldn’t we apply the same principle in selecting the best medical college/university for our education? In search for the best medical education, it would be naive to think that only medical schools in the USA are above the world standards when it comes to providing excellent training and education in the field of medicine. In reality, there are excellent schools throughout the world that apply the same level of excellence and dedication to the standards that they teach. To find the difference between good and average, whether in the US or abroad, you should apply several standards and criteria which are essential and fundamental to a good medical education. In our view, the best medical university will have the following characteristics:

  • Years of experience in providing medical education. The institution must be 25 to 30 years old – or older – since it takes almost that much time for an institution of higher education to grow, mature and become deeply rooted in society.
  • Teaching hospital. A medical university must have several of its own well-established, modern teaching hospitals. If the university does not have these, then the students’ education is at a disadvantage. The lack of clinical teaching facilities of its own should be a concern because of the limited depth of education that can be provided. “Piggy-back riding” or contracting with outside hospitals completely for clinical training jeopardizes the students’ future. Such arrangements with outside hospitals diminish the school’s authority to maintain high standards of quality education, since it cannot exert control over outside programs. Furthermore, one must ask what will happen if the school is not able to maintain, negotiate, or enforce contracts in the distant future. As Murphy’s Law states, “If anything bad can happen, it will.” Many colleges claim that they have their own hospitals, but instead establish facilities that in reality are nothing more than simple primary-care clinics. Thorough clinical training is essential in producing experienced well trained physicians and we encourage you to visit the teaching hospital facilities. Are they able to prepare you properly? Will you get from them the challenge of ever changing, advanced medical training and treatment? To summarize this point, we will say that a good medical university should have not just one or two teaching hospitals, but several well furnished and equipped state of the art teaching hospitals to help prepare you for the demands of a medical profession.
  • Small class size. Although small classes may be considered a luxury for some, we must say that the smaller the class size, the better opportunity you will have to interact with your professors and other members of the teaching staff. The programs at our affiliated universities typically have a class of 15 to 30 students which can be considered the ideal teaching environment, where students and teachers can communicate with each other. Imagine what the quality of your education will be like if you have to share the time of your professors with 80 to 100 students. There are many foreign medical schools which have more than 100 students per class.
  • Ample research facilities. Good research facilities and programs go hand in hand with a good medical college. It is important to investigate a medical university and make sure that they have ample research facilities. If you investigate carefully, you might find that there may only be one or two small research programs offered at the university as a sideline. This kind of institution cannot be called a research-oriented facility. A good medical university must have not just one or two research programs going on at any given time, it must have constant opportunities for research in each and every one of its teaching departments. This type of situation would give the “future doctors” chances to be exposed to many multi-disciplinary research projects. As a rule of thumb, the medical institutions located in countries with larger GNPs historically have a better opportunity for getting adequate finances for various research projects. Doing research while in medical school helps students enhance potential choice of residency.
  • Teaching staff (Well Educated) quality. It is extremely important to take into consideration the education level and the quality of the teaching staff. Ask the question, does the majority of the teaching staff have post-graduate degrees in medicine? It is essential for a good medical education facility to have highly qualified post-graduate-level-trained staff, with many of the professors having a Ph.D. in research as well as a post-graduate degree in medicine. Universities where the majority of the staff has a combination of M.D. and Ph.D. degrees are in a much better position to give you the best training in science and research.
  • Recognition and Accreditation. To qualify initially on an international level in regards to licensing requirements, including those requirements in the U.S. and Canada, the school must be approved, recognized, and listed by the World Health Organization (WHO), located in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The school must be recognized and accredited by the government of the country in which the school is located. Universities which are entirely government-supported are viewed positively for worldwide recognition than privately run or managed schools.
  • Inter-university/international relationships and reputation. A good medical university will have active working relationships with many similar institutions around the globe. Agreements on research, cooperation, and transfer of technology with other medical universities, located in the same country and those located abroad, are important for quality of education, credibility, and recognition.

A school should be known internationally, locally and regionally, for research and development in various fields of medicine. This type of research on the international level will allow the student to get exposure to important techniques, procedures, advancements in medicine and research as they are carried on in various parts of the world. As one looks at medical schools to find the characteristics mentioned above, it becomes clear that an institution possessing such characteristics must have been established for a number of years. These qualities of excellence cannot be acquired within a short span of time. Therefore, we would say with virtual certainty that institutions, which have been in existence for several decades and have grown over that time are in the best position to provide you with the challenge, quality and training you need to become a world class physician of tomorrow. With pride, we would like to mention that when you diligently search for the best medical faculties, you will discover that the affiliated institutions of HMI are considered second to none and possess all of the qualities and characteristics of the finest institutions of higher education.

Do I need to take an entrance examination prior to securing admission
Entrance examinations and interviews are part of the admissions process and helps the admissions committee to determine a student’s educational level, quality of education and degree of commitment. Considering the flow of applications we receive daily, it is very difficult to conduct multiple one on one interviews. Therefore, as part of our universities’ policy we do conduct final interviews or entrance exams during our annual convention in the USA. Students who are not able to come to the interview/entrance exam during the annual convention are called for interviews/entrance exams on campus.

Apart from Interviews or Entrance exams, the following also applies:

  • For high school graduates who are seeking admission into 6 year MD program: We look at the candidates High School academic performance, Advanced Placement (AP) classes in the sciences, and their SAT/ACT score.
  • For College Graduates who are seeking admission into advanced 6 year MD program (i.e. 4 year MD program): We look at the candidates’ high school and college level academic performance, SAT/ACT and MCAT exam score.
Why is it a matter of pride to attend a medical school in Europe?
There are more than a dozen extremely important reasons why one should consider a medical school in Europe rather than to one in a less developed country such as Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. A few of these reasons are:
  • Our affiliated European medical universities have curricula and program standards equal to that of American medical colleges. They use American textbooks and course review materials.
  • Students Safety is important. You will not be exposed to any unnecessary hazardous conditions without proper and adequate safety precautions. Strict European safety standards are enforced and maintained for student protection at all of our affiliated institutions.
  • All of our affiliate European institutions offer highly educated, experienced, caring instructors and university staff. A great number of the professors have two post-graduate degrees (M.D. and Ph.D.).
  • Our affiliate hospitals are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment such as CT scans, MRI, etc. These hospitals are located in a safe and peaceful environment compared to what you might find in a hospital located in an inner city in the US.
  • You will find that the standard of living in our host nations is much higher than that of many developing nations. In fact, the host nations provide a standard of living very similar to that of the USA, which makes the campus life and living conditions much more comfortable and easy for our international students. It allows for a very easy and fast adjustment to living in the host nation. The environmental conditions are far better, where water and air pollution is considered far less than in other countries.

These are just a few of many reasons why a European education can be a great alternative to an American education in medicine.

What is the language used to teach students in classes for international students in HMI's affiliated institutions?
The delivery medium of teaching is in English. Faculties are well educated and highly qualified to teach in English, using American standards and textbooks.
Are there more requirements today than ever before for medical students to be licensed in the U.S.A.?
No, not at all. The fact is that recent changes in the law have opened up opportunities for a student to attend a foreign medical college and then secure a license to practice medicine in America.

Today, all students graduating from an American medical college, as well as those coming out of foreign medical colleges with an M.D. degree, have to pass the board exams, known as USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 (CK & CS). The same tests and questions are used for foreign and American medical graduates. There are no double standards, different tests, different questions, or discrimination. Today, all foreign medical graduates have better opportunities to enter into residency programs and receive their licenses in the U.S.A. Today in the U.S.A., more than 26% of active physicians are foreign educated (International Medical Graduate – IMG). In today’s world, the international medical graduate (IMG) does not stand alone as there is growing support and recognition in the professional, social, and political circles for physicians who attended foreign medical schools.

Am I allowed to take the U.S. Board Exam?
Yes. All of the students, regardless of nationality, who have successfully completed the M.D. degree program, are qualified to take USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS.
Can I transfer to a U.S. medical college in the middle of my program?
Opportunities are good for transferring to a second or third year American university medical program. This type of transfer to an American medical college is known as “an advanced standing transfer.”

Even though opportunities for transfers are very good, none of our affiliated universities or HMI can give any guarantee that you will be able to transfer to an American medical college. Students should not go to a foreign medical university with the expectation of transferring as their only objective.

All of our affiliated universities have excellent programs leading towards the M.D. degree. We have no doubt that the medical training and opportunities our affiliate universities will provide to you will prepare you to become a good physician using the same high standards that any medical college in the USA might have provided.

Will I qualify to do a residency in the USA?
Yes.Students who have passed their Board Exams and have completed the necessary requirements may qualify for applying to residency in various hospitals in the USA.
Can I qualify for licensing and practice in America?
Yes of course. Completing your medical education and obtaining the M.D. degree from one of our affiliated medical schools will qualify you to take the licensing exams for practicing medicine in the United States and Canada.
Would I get the post-graduate training/residency of my choice easily after completing my medical education?
The answer depends heavily upon your performance during medical school and especially upon the scores you achieve on the Standardized USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 examination. If you pass this examination with the minimum passing score, it is obvious that your chances of getting your choice of residency will be less than if your score is higher. It is no different from the fact that if a person earns a degree with an A or B average, he or she will have a much easier time searching for a job than someone who has a C or D average for the same degree.

The standardized tests require you to get a minimum score of 76 to pass the exam. Even a few points higher than the minimum required score is helpful. For example, a score of 85 or above would definitely put you in a better position, and you would become a more attractive candidate for a residency position. Getting a few points higher than the minimum is not very difficult. In every exam, thousands of students achieve a score higher than 80. In our own affiliated universities in Poland, it is common for our students to score much higher than 80 and in many cases have even scored as high as 99 on either exam.

Currently in the USA, more than 23,000 residency positions are filled each year by graduates of American medical colleges, returning graduates (US citizens and permanent residents) from abroad, non-citizens and non-resident physicians from abroad. Breaking this total number down, we find that every year American medical colleges produce between 13,000 and 14,000 new medical graduates. In addition to these graduates an average of between 2,500 and 3,000 American citizens and permanent legal residents return home from abroad with medical degrees. Thus, 16,000 to 17,000 of the 23,000 available positions are filled by these two groups. However, approximately 6,000 positions remain open which are normally filled by foreign-born, non-resident medical graduates who have been trained in a recognized medical college abroad.

There is a federal law against discrimination in the assignment of residency positions. Therefore, no residency positions in the USA should be filled by color, race, or national origin. The American Medical Association sent a communication through its International Medical Graduates (IMG) section to the thousands of directors of various residency programs in the USA, reminding them of the existence of such a federal law. Furthermore, the American Medical Association (AMA) encourages International Medical Graduates to report any type of discrimination they may find during their search for residency positions.

International Medical Graduates (IMGs) should be proud of their international experience in the treatment of human diseases. You might ask yourself who might be better prepared to meet the challenges of the ever-changing global medical needs of tomorrow than a medical student trained in an international environment?

The obstacles for success have been removed; the timing is perfect. For those who dare to follow their dream, the opportunities and challenges are waiting. The responsibilities and rewards are great

If I am not a US citizen can I get permanent resident status in the USA after completing my medical education in Europe?
There is no simple answer to this question. America is well known as the land of opportunity for immigrants. It is a melting pot of the world’s cultures. As President Obama stated during one of his “State of the Union” messages, “Diversity is our greatest strength. America speaks every language in the world for we are comprised of immigrants.” America’s legal immigration system offers various options for getting a permanent resident status to the thousands of hard-working and ambitious would-be immigrants of tomorrow.

HMI neither suggests any particular option nor does it have the desire to practice immigration law. However, if students wish to inquire about the various possibilities and options regarding this matter they should find the proper legal expert to help guide them.

How much time will it take to get my M.D.?
The time needed to fulfill the requirements for the M.D. degree varies from institution to institution and from student to student. Generally speaking, the programs are designed to be completed within four to six academic years. Students applying with an undergraduate degree majoring in science will be able to complete the program within four years. Students applying directly out of high school or with one or two years of college level education will be able to enter into our six-year program.

After evaluating each student’s educational background, Hope Medical Institute and the university will jointly decide on the most suitable program for each individual.

What will it cost me?
  • Institute Fee (One time only): This fee is required to cover the cost for some necessary services prior to matriculation for pre-enrollment activities. This fee is not covered by any federal student loans, therefore it is expected that the student should pay this from his/her personal or private financial resources. Please contact Hope Medical Institute for further details.

The Tuition and Fee Schedule will be as follows

  • Registration Fee (One time only): $500.00 to be paid at time of final registration at the University.
  • Basic Medical Sciences: The cost of medical education varies from institution to institution as well as from program to program. However, generally speaking, tuition and fees for the semester during Basic Medical Sciences currently amounts to $12,443.00 USD. The price of housing for the semester is approximately $1,900.00 USD. In other words, the total average estimated expense for tuition, room, and board, food, books and supplies, travel, etc… would be approximately $45,000 USD to $46,000 USD for an academic year during the Basic Medical Sciences in Poland. (There are 2 semesters per year.) Students may contact the Office of the Dean for further details on the Cost of Attendance.
  • Clinical Rotations The student has the option of completing their Clinical Rotations (which is the last two years of Medical School) either in the United States or Poland. (Rotations in the United States are based on eligibility)

Students must complete a total of 82 weeks of Clinical Rotations during the last two years of their medical education to graduate from the MD program.

US Clinical Rotations: If you choose to complete your clinical rotations in the U.S.A., the following are the fees involved

  • Registration Fee (One time only): $1,060.00 USD to be paid prior to starting rotations in the U.S.A.
  • The total tuition and fees along with malpractice cost per week would be about $1,050.00 USD. Students may contact the Office of the Dean for further details on the Cost of Attendance.

Poland Rotations: If you choose to complete your last two years of clinical rotations in Poland, the total tuition and fees per week would be about $719.00 USD.

Students may contact the Office of the Dean for further details on the Cost of Attendance.
Clinical rotations are currently available in the U.S.A., however, HMI does not guarantee continuous rotations in the U.S.A. regardless of your status. Rotations are scheduled based on availability. Completing your clinical training in the USA or Canada is a privilege, not a right. If rotations in the U.S.A are not available for whatever reason, then the student will be required to complete their clinical training in Poland..

Can I finance my education?
There are a variety of ways to finance your education based on your needs and funding availability. The Medical University of Lublin participates in U.S. federal student loan programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, and federal loans are available to those who qualify. Private loans may also be available for those who qualify.

The Medical University of Silesia is currently not eligible to participate in the Title IV loan program pending the outcome of efforts by the University to restore eligibility.

The Student Financial Aid Representative and Financial Aid Officers at each University have the latest up-to-date information about the status of the federal loan and private loan availability.

What about housing?
Most of our affiliate European universities and colleges have the finest of dormitories on campus. There are also many nice privately owned apartments and townhouses, which are available to rent for the individual’s needs. The local staff of Hope Medical Institute will assist the students in securing the best locations within the campus or in the near vicinity of the campus. Most of the buildings and apartments approved by HMI are considered luxurious and closely meet the standards of students coming from North America. The total cost for room and board would be approximately $1,900 per semester.
How secure and safe would I be in a foreign land?
Our affiliated colleges and universities in Europe are considered to be located in a safer environment than many of the American colleges and universities. Hope Medical Institute also maintains its staff on campus exclusively for the service and safety of the HMI students. Our local staff will help students in many aspects of their needs. They also have a stable, multi-party democratic government.

In spite of a very low crime rate in our host nation, students are highly encouraged to apply prudent judgment in going to various places, especially late at night. Furthermore, it is very important for students to blend into the campus and respect the laws and culture of the host nation.

How many currently working physicians are trained by foreign medical schools?
More than 26% (224,579 physicians) of currently active US physicians have earned their medical degrees from medical schools abroad. According to a recent survey, nearly 50% of the physicians at the National Institute of Health (NIH) are International Medical Graduates (IMGs). It is interesting to note that 40% of the Nobel Prize winners in medicine are immigrants.
Would I be able to maintain the lifestyle that I am used to in the U.S.A. or Canada?
As we know, Europe is an older and well-established continent. A good number of European nations have a very high standard of living, just like the USA. All types of modern facilities and conveniences are readily available. Many popular fast food restaurants maybe found around campus including McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dominos and Subway.

You have a choice of staying in a one-or two-bedroom modern, spacious, and luxurious apartment or living in a dormitory. A student may also be able to share an apartment with another HMI student in order to save money.

All the residential apartments are within walking distance of the college campuses. Many universities provide campus housing within their dormitories. These dormitories are safe and are very comparable to dormitory living in the U.S.A.

Sometimes students may elect to pay a small fee for renting or leasing some furniture and/or appliances. All these are set at affordable rates to our students. Our local staff will help you in getting settled in private housing or in dormitories according to your preference

Can I get my choice of food?
In most circumstances the answer to this question is yes. European food is well prepared and is enjoyed by our students. Besides European meals, many cities in Europe have American restaurants and fast food available.

On some of the college campuses our staff has made special arrangements with local European cooks to prepare meals to meet the needs of our students. These meals are custom prepared according to the instructions and requests made by students. Our local staff is available to help students in designing proper meal plans. Meals are available in the student dormitory cafeterias, as well as in many hospital cafeterias where students will be working and studying. Special vegetarian meals are also available on some campuses. We encourage parents and students to inquire in advance regarding their special needs.

Who would be my classmates?
Most of your classmates would be from USA, Canada, Asia, Middle East, and different parts of Europe, etc., as well as the students from our host nations. In other words, your classmates would be from all corners of the world.
What are my chances of getting admission?
As we all know, education in the medical field requires total commitment and a high degree of retention. For this reason Hope Medical Institute does not give any guarantee of admission to any student. Admissions are based strictly on students’ previous academic achievement in conjunction with their scores on SAT’s or MCAT, extracurricular activities as well as their aptitude and desire for the study of medicine. In other words, HMI and its affiliated universities conduct an in depth analysis before granting admission to any of its students. Therefore, we encourage students from all walks of life and backgrounds to apply for admission.
What are the deadlines for application?
Most of the medical colleges and universities affiliated with HMI start their programs in September and October. Since we have a rolling admission process throughout the year, we recommend that students apply as soon as possible to secure a seat, since availability is limited.
What is the refund policy?
The student is required to inform HMI in writing as soon as he/she finds themselves unable to attend the university. The effective date of notification for the purpose of calculating the refund would be the date that HMI received such notification. The refund for the tuition and fees paid to the university and HMI will be governed as per the following guidelines: Prior to the opening of the school term 100% refund At the end of the first week 90% refund At the end of the second week 75% refund At the end of the third week 50% refund At the end of the fourth week 20% refund At the end of the fifth week 0% refund The registration, orientation and transportation related fees (if any) are non refundable after the service is provided.

In the event that a medical university withdraws the privilege due to poor scores on entrance exams, poor health conditions, unsatisfactory personal interview, not following proper procedures in a timely manner, not supplying original documents, or falsifying documents, etc., a $1,000 application processing fee will be charged. All other deposits and fees will be refunded to the student.

MD, PhD; MD, MBA; MD, LLB; What About It?
Not Everyone Needs a License

There are thousands of working physicians in the USA who never had a need to pass the licensing examination or do residency/postgraduate training. The reason is that they do not practice among the general population. The majority of them work in research institutions such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH), or National Cancer Institute (NCI). Others work in government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as policy makers or public health administrators. Some work for pharmaceutical companies in the development of drugs. Some manage and own ambulance centers or work as advisors in fitness and training institutions and institutes of sport medicine or as professors in colleges of medicine or science. Many physicians work as advisors for health insurance companies, administrators and owners of pathology and blood laboratories, and readers and interpreters of international articles and periodicals in the field of medicine. The list just goes on and on.

If you do not want to pass those licensing examinations for your own personal reasons or do not want to go through the postgraduate residency training, you still have many options available as a graduate of a medical college.

MD, PhD; MD, MBA; MD, LLB could prove very rewarding for those who do not want to take licensing examinations or practice in the general public.

There are hundreds of good PhD and MBA degree programs at U.S. schools. Some of them offer good scholarships or fellowships with almost 100% financing. If you obtain your MD abroad and PhD or MBA or law degree in the USA, then you have an extremely good combination of degrees. A person with such qualifications is always in demand. Having such a combination of degrees puts one in a unique position in terms of job and business opportunities. When someone has an MD along with other degrees, his or her possibilities for earning excellent financial compensation are much greater than those having other degrees but no MD. Furthermore, an MD with other degrees opens up great opportunities, which allows you to be in the forefront of being considered for employment.

The MD degree still holds its luster and appeal. It brings limitless choices and opportunities for a very bright, satisfying professional career along with a high degree of financial compensation, even without the necessity of meeting the licensing requirement to practice among the general public.

For further information contact us.
Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern standard time at:

Hope Medical Institute
11835 Rock Landing Drive
Newport News, VA 23606-3564, USA
Telephone: (757) 873-3333 Fax: (757) 873-6661
E-mail: admissions@hmi-edu.org